Arkansas Head Coach Houston Nutt
Opening Statement"I’ve never been prouder of a group of young people, that when things didn’t go as we planned, we planned on going to a bowl this year, they really felt that we would accomplish that goal and when you find out in mid-season that you’re not it’s really easy in November to let go. And that’s the one thing that if you look, even to the last tackle, they were laying it on the field, everything they had, they were leaving it on the field and that’s what you love. I love the heart, the attitude of never letting go. I had very few seniors that played today, but I am going to miss the ones that did play with us today, Vickiel Vaughn, (Kyle) Roper, Pierre Brown, Jared Hicks, Brandon Kennedy, all of these guys have just done so much for our program and I appreciate what they’ve done. I tell you what, they fought all day long today."
On their fourteen unanswered points in the 2nd half…"It was about time that we started making plays. But you have got to give them credit, they got a great defense. We had trouble all day long and we had new guys in there, and it was hard for us to protect. We tried to do some things to get the ball off very quickly, which we did some of the time, but that’s what happens-Cedric Washington, Marcus Monk, (Darren) McFadden, you put it in the hands of your playmakers along with Peyton Hillis and hopefully, you are going to get something done. They are so run oriented, they’re so run conscious of (Darren) McFadden that it was hard for us to gain very much today. You have got to give them credit, that’s where their defensive line, of all seniors-thank goodness they are seniors because it seems like they’ve been here for a long time, and they controlled the line of scrimmage. But when we had to make some plays, when you go back and look, we missed some opportunities. We missed a field goal, we missed some opportunities in there and that’s what hurts. There were one or two plays if we just could have gotten three more points, as ya’ll know, it’s a whole different outcome."
ARKANSAS OFFENSIVE PLAYERS QUOTES
QB CASEY DICK
On how his team played…"We came in here knowing we had nothing to lose and they had everything to lose. We just tried to keep them off balance with some trick plays. We wanted to keep them on their toes. We had our chances, we just didn’t execute on some of them."
On the teams trick plays…"We work on those a couple times a week. We just look for the right time and the right coverage. When we threw that long pass to Peyton (Hillis), that got us rolling."
On his last pass…"I was rolling out, and I saw the blitz coming. I just wanted to give our team a chance. I turned around and threw it over the middle hoping somebody would be able to get it, just didn’t happen."
WR CEDRIC WASHINGTON
On his pass to Peyton Hillis…"We work on that all the time, we just haven’t ran it yet. We have been waiting for them to pull it out the bag. We want to execute it whenever we can."
On how his team played…"I am just so proud of this team. From the coaching staff all the way to people who weren’t able to get on the field. We have worked so hard from the off season to spring. We gave our coaches everything we had to try and get a win."
ARKANSAS PLAYER QUOTES (Defense)
FS VICKIEL VAUGHN
On his impression of the game…"It was a close game, a tough game. It was a game that you knew coming in that it was going to be a fight for all four quarters. We played them real close for the most part, LSU just found a way to win."
On his two interceptions…"We just played our defense. Our front four were getting great pressure and our corners were covering well. I was just helping my corner. It wasn’t really anything extra, everyone just did their job and I just found myself in a position to intercept the ball."
LB SAM OLAJUBUTU
On the team’s preparation…"We came in preparing for the run and their screens. They just have so many weapons on offense that we had to prepare for all of that."
On the defense’s play late in the game…"One or two times we stopped them on the goal line and towards the end we had them going three and out. Those were big momentum boosts for us. We knew we could do it. Those stops built our confidence up."
LSU Head Coach Les Miles
Opening Statement…"First of all, credit is due to Arkansas. I think they came in here and played very emotionally. We certainly did not play our best in several ways. But like this team has done all year, we needed whatever unit was on the field, in this particular instance it happened to be the defense, and they played big. If you look at it, time and time again we turned to the defense, and the defense came through. They played extremely well, and there were miscues with the offense and some misfires and some dropped passes and some mistakes. It was not sharp play. And for the first time, we saw some miscues on our special teams. But again, those things certainly can be fixed. And our defense came to play. I felt like going into this game that as much as we tried to separate our last two opponents before the SEC Championship game, our team seemed to link those two opponents. They thought the game they had prior to this one would be very similar to this one. I felt personally that this would be a difficult game for us to be focused on and play as a full team, offense, defense and special teams. And certainly it was. Again, it was due to the credit of a very good Arkansas team. But we won, and it feels good. We’re the (SEC) Western Division Champions, and with our accomplishment we get another opponent. We get another SEC opponent, and we look forward to that. I think our team can focus fully on a game plan and understand the fact that we did not play well (against Arkansas), we need to practice and there’s always room to improve. I think this practice week will be one where we will look to play in all three phases, offense, defense and special teams, improve and look forward to the match-up versus Georgia in the championship game."
On the team’s lack of focus in the second half…"I think when you play for the championship and play with the lead and not for the lead, there’s a chance to be a little less than focused. I’m not saying in any way that our focus is the reason that this game was close, but as you look at our play, there are pieces of that game where we haven’t played like that in weeks."
On Melvin Oliver’ssack in Arkansas’ last drive…"If you watched him play all game long, he was in and around the quarterback. They did not want his side. He played extremely well."
LSU DEFENSIVE PLAYER QUOTES
SS Jessie Daniels
On the game…"We came out dominated on defense and the offense was doing good moving the ball, and we had to make a lot of adjustments with their motion and all their locations and stuff like that."
On realizing one of their season goals…"One of our goals was to go to the SEC Championship, and from there we took it one week at a time. We had a rough start, but we had to get back on our regular schedule, so we took it one week at a time and we kept working harder and harder every week."
On giving everyone a heart attack at the end of the game…"Oh, I love games like that knowing that we’re going to come out and finish the game on defense. There is no greater feeling than knowing that you’re going out there to play and win for your team."
On the progression of the defense throughout the season…"In the beginning of the year we were a little slow adjusting to the new defense and getting the communication down, but about midseason we started communicating well and we started getting used to Coach Pelini’s defense, which is a great defense, and when we are all on the same page and we are doing everything right I don’t think anybody can do anything against us."
CB Ronnie Prude
On the game…"I feel great. Each and every last one of us came together, stepped together, and made a tremendous effort, especially the defensive line, and our offense too. I knew all along that we were going to get it done. I never had a doubt in my mind, I knew the defense was going to come out there and stop them. Coming through this whole season, from the first game on we came together, re-grouped and never got out of focus. We stayed focused on what we had to do and we accomplished it."
On the progression of the defense…"The first game, Arizona St. was a little shaky on the defense, but we improved. We made the commitment, each and every one of us, that we are going to stay together, and don’t get down on anybody and just come out and play 60 minutes and that’s what we did. Defense had to step up and that’s what allows us to win championships."